Summary: The important thing is to remember where you are going and how you’re going to get there. Jesus continues to show us, through the apostle Paul and through your teachers, leaders, pastor and friends what are the important things in Kingdom life.

Title: The Important Thing is to …

Scripture: Acts 20:1-38


The important thing is to …

Just what is the important thing anyway? One book tells us to focus on our successes and we’ll be successful. One book tells us that the important thing is to think only positive thoughts and we’ll get along well in life. One speaker will tell us that the important thing is to identify with nature, to look to the god in all of us and we’ll be just fine. Just what is the important thing anyway? Just what is the important thing?

I. Encourage Your Brothers and Sisters (vv. 1-6)

II. Tend to the Old and Sick (vv. 7-12)

III. Testify of God’s Grace (vv. 13-27)

IV. Be On Guard (vv. 28-31)

V. Show God’s Grace (vv. 32-35)

VI. Pray With Your Brothers and Sisters (vv. 36-38)

I. Encourage Your Brothers and Sisters (vv. 1-6)

1 When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia. 2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, 3 where he stayed three months. Because the Jews made a plot against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. 5 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. 6 But we sailed from Philippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.

When the uproar had ended…

Remember the large public gathering where a man named Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen wanted to get rid of the Christians in Ephesus? That was back in Acts 19, and in that chapter we see where Paul is encouraging his disciples while that situation is taking place.

It is very important to encourage one another during trying circumstances, or difficult situations. But, it’s just as important to encourage your brothers and sisters even after the circumstances or the uproar has ended.

When there is a really big situation, everyone is looking, everyone is observing what is going on. That’s the time when the crowd pleasers come out. Sure, they do a lot of good, but their heart is not in the right place. One way you can tell if a person means what they say is to see if they come back around and see how you’re doing.

That’s what Paul did. He went back around checking out the lives of his disciples. Looking to see if they were all right in the Lord. Seeing if they were growing in the Savior.

After the crowd is gone, that’s when the loneliness sets in, that’s when the self-pity begins to grow, that’s when you need an encourager the most.

How’re you at encouraging? Do you come back around after a situation and check on the people? Do you look into their lives and see where their needs are?

The important thing is to…

Encourage your brothers and sisters.

II. Tend to the Old and Sick (vv. 7-12)

7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. "Don’t be alarmed," he said. "He’s alive!" 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.

Greatly comforted…

Tending to the old, the infirmed, the needy, the sick, or the hurt, brings great comfort to not only those that are afflicted, but to those that are in close relation to that person also.

The Word was getting out, the Word of God that is. Paul is preaching up a storm and that was the important thing to these people. That is, up to the point where young Eutychus fell out of the window. But, Paul didn’t hesitate. Paul didn’t miss a beat and went straightway to the young man’s aid. There’s a leadership lesson embedded in this narrative. A lesson that tells us that all eyes will be on the leader of the meeting, the crowd, or the study when something happens. When you are leading a group or a study, everyone will look to you when something happens. It doesn’t matter that it has nothing to do with you, everyone will look to you to resolve the situation.

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